Now You See It, Now You Don’t

If you have more than one child, you know that the groceries get divvied up before you even unload them. It’s called a ‘pack mentality’ and some things immediately go on the endangered species list the minute they’re brought into the house, things like:

Cookies, chips & Juice Paks for school lunches: Somewhere between the car and the front door they simply evaporate.

Hand soap in a pump: They never wash unless you tell them how to do so in great detail and yet there’s never any soap left in the pump.

Conditioner: We’ve got seven bottles of shampoo that are just less than half full, but there’s never any conditioner left except for that little bit of water to swish around the bottle.

Milk: I’m fairly certain they inhale it. The only time I see a full gallon of milk is in the grocery store. The jug in my refrigerator has only enough to coat the bottom of the container.

Paper towels: All I ever see is the empty roll. My kids use paper towels to dab the corners of their mouths and then toss them in the trash.

Tissues: These are used by the handful to sop up messes because there are no more paper towels.

Napkins: These are used to blow their noses because there are no more tissues.

Toilet paper: What toilet paper? Look, I’ve seen the laundry. I know the boys aren’t using any toilet paper and a third child is still in diapers. So where does it all go?

Orange juice: The kids think I’m joking when I show them a 4-ounce glass and tell them it’s for juice.

Cereal: The cornflakes and bran flakes will sit on the shelf for a month untouched, but the sugar bombs are gone in two days.

Sugar: Once they polish off the sugar bombs, there goes all the sugar on the cornflakes and bran flakes.

Bread: I think they all run to the kitchen and attack the bag at once, like mad squirrels, and sit there and nibble on it until it’s gone.

Ice cream: I buy ice cream by the bucket to save money. The kids eat it by the bucket because it’s there.

Peanut butter: The only peanut butter in this house is on the lid, the pantry doorknob and the dishtowel.

If my husband and I want to eat, we have to take a permanent black marker and write our names on the food we want. Don’t laugh. My husband has an entire shelf in the pantry with food with his name on it. It’s what you have to do when you live with children otherwise these people will eat you out of house and home.

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  • Warren Jewell

    My Dad, a former WWII Army cook, swore he needed less food in the average mess for a battalion than his two eldest – both sons – needed in the house. We tried to eat but two meals – everything possible before school, and ditto after school. We spent enough time in front of the open fridge to develop early frostbite.

    Chances are if he marked foods for himself, we would have made him pay a daily ‘tithe’ off the top of each. Milk? A house with four kids, eight gallons a week – we qualified for wholesale delivery prices! (Though, we saw litle of anything but milk or water). A loaf of bread or more each day –

    – my bro and I ate like we were condemned! Or, a least, a brigade of combat troops.

  • Grace Harman

    Reminds me of when my older kids were in high school.